Visiting Machu Pichhu is truly a bucket list experience and we were so glad to be taken on a private guided tour of one the seven wonders of the world with Inkyani Peru Tours. We opted for the two day, one night tour, which was perfect. We were just in Peru for just 8 days so we didn't have time to do the popular Inka Trail Trek, which would have taken 4 days.
Planning a Trip to Machu Picchu
When booking the tour with Inkyani Peru Tours, everything was taken care of for us! Prior to the trip, we were emailed our train tickets and our bus tickets to Machu Picchu. We were actually already in Ollataytambo ourselves, but the tour company can facilitate your transportation from Cusco.
How far is Machu Picchu from Lima
If you are are headed over from Lima, you'll have to take care of that transportation yourself. Machu Picchu is 503 km from Lima.
How to get to Machu Picchu from Lima
We flew from Lima to Cusco to get the Machu Picchu. When booked in advance, flights can be incredibly cheap, ranging from $50-$100 USD one way. The flight is roughly 45 minutes long. Once you are in Cusco, you are two hours away from your next stop in Ollataytambo, where the bus stations to Machu Picchu are located. If you want to get to Ollataytambo without a tour guide, you can hire a private driver or book a bus trip.
Getting to Machu Picchu from Cusco
Once you arrive in Cusco, you should overnight in Cusco, where there are plenty of delicious places to eat! Inkyani Peru Tours will pick you up bright and early the next morning to transport you over to Ollantaytambo for the scenic bus ride to Agua Calientes, on the way to Machu Picchu. It's a two hour trip and very scenic and relaxing.
Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu
Once you are in Ollantaytambo, you'll need to book a train ride over to Machu Picchu. If you are taking the Inkyani Peru Tour, this is all included in the cost of the trip. The train ride from Ollantaytambo over to Agua Calientes is roughly a hour long and it's a beautiful trip. Outside your window, you'll be treated to views of Inca ruins, farming terraces, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. After arriving in Agua Calientes, you'll want to overnight at one of the local hotels before leaving bright and early for Machu Picchu the next morning.
Machu Picchu Train Station
The Machu Picchu Train Station is located in Aguas Calientes and can be reached by the Ollantaytambo Station (1 hour 30 minutes away), the Urubamba Station (2 hours 30 minutes away), and Poroy Station (3 hours 30 minutes away). Round trip tickets on the Peru Rail from Ollantaytambo to the Machu Picchu Station run around $100. The price of these train tickets are included with the Inkyani Peru Tour!
Machu Picchu Trip Cost
The cost of the private tour with Inkyani Peru Tours is $385 a person for the two day, one night journey and all transportation is included within the cost of the trip.
Machu Picchu Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to Machu Picchu is $44 USD a person, but its included in the cost of the tour here.
Machu Picchu Itinerary
Here's the itinerary of the trip that we took with Inkyani Peru Tours
If you are leaving from Cusco, you'll be picked up by the tour company by a tour bus that will take you all the way to Ollantaytambo. After arriving, you'll have a bit of time to browse around the charming little city before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes. A tour guide will meet you upon arrival to guide you to your hotel, which is also included in the price of the tour. You'll have the entire afternoon free to explore the charming little city of Aguas Calientes. You can meander around the streets, visit the hot springs, or visit the waterfalls - all in walking distance.
It's totally up to you how early you want to visit Machu Picchu! You can arrive at 5:30am for the sunrise, but we opted for the later arrival, which was 8am, which meant that we still had to wake up around 4:30am to have time to grab breakfast first at the hotel.
After breakfast, you'll jump into a long, but fast moving line to board the Machu Picchu bus. The bus will take you on a 20 minute ride up to Machu Picchu.
Once at Machu Picchu, our private guide took us a on a two and a half hour guided tour of Machu Picchu.
After the tour, you'll have as much free time as you like to explore Machu Picchu or opt for the extra hikes and climbs. You can opt to hike the Huayna Picchu mountain, which is a 45 minute hike.
Another option is the challenging Machu Picchu Mountain trek, which takes about a hour.
After the tour, we headed back to Aguas Calientes to wait for our train back to Ollantaytambo, and finally to take our bus ride back to Cusco.
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
We loved our private guide from Inkyani Peru Tours! He filled us in on all that there is to know about Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu means "old mountain". Hiram Bingham from the United States first discovered Machu Picchu in 1911 but it wasn't even the ruins that he was originally searching for. He first arrived in Aguas Calientes and inquired local farmers is they knew of any ruins, upon which he was told that there was a beautiful city in the mountains.
Once arriving at the Machu Picchu ruins, he found a farming family that was already living there. The son, named Pablito, 8 years old, showed him the lost city. He found 50 thousand artifacts but didn't find any gold, it was probably already looted.
In 2007, Machu Picchu was named one of the seven wonders of the world. It took 20,000 people and 50-60 years to build.
The civilization residing at Machu Picchu was quite advanced. Here is a stone that was believed the used as a sundial.
These poles were believed to be carved out to attach the roof. Archeologists believed that the ancient builders used something that make the individual rocks fit so well, you can't even fit a credit card in between the rocks.
It's impossible to take a bad picture at Machu Picchu. Interesting fact, the Mayans had used meditation to get the knowledge on how to build Machu Picchu. 35% of Machu Picchu has been restored. A incredibly sturdy foundation that was built from the ground up and the drainage system has allowed these ruins to stand the test of time.
Machu Picchu gets two million visitors a year.